The Absurd Year in Educational Censorship, From Gay Penguins to the Gettysburg Address

Jonathan Friedman, Kasey Meehan, Jeremy C. Young, Samantha LaFrance, Tasslyn Magnusson
PEN America

Excerpt: The past year has been a challenging and sometimes frightening year in education. Legislators, activists, and lobbyists have descended on both K-12 and higher education to censor, restrict, and intimidate. Most commonly, they have targeted curriculum and books about racism, gender, sex, and history, using fear to limit students’ educational horizons, and sending the message that some ideas—and even, some identities—do not belong in public schools, libraries, or universities. 

The state of educational censorship continues to worsen. But as any free speech advocate will tell you, efforts to censor often bring unexpected consequences: benign speech gets banned accidentally, laws backfire on their own supporters, and administrators scramble to define the undefinable.